Onsite wastewater treatment facilities, commonly known as septic systems, are used in Pima County to dispose of household liquid waste when a home is not connected to a municipal sewer system. As these systems pose a risk for surface water and groundwater contamination, Pima County regulates the construction (including replacement), ownership transfer, and closure of septic systems. Regulations require that a septic system design conforms to the Arizona Administrative Code's Arizona State Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) Rules and the Pima County Code Title 7, and that homeowners receive permits to build and use their septic system.
Pima County must first issue a Construction Authorization for the facility before it can be constructed or replaced. Then, after the facility passes a final field inspection, Pima County must issue a Discharge Authorization before the facility can be buried and put into use.
An essential component of the permitting process involves performing a site investigation, which determines what type of septic system is needed for your home – Conventional or Alternative. Pima County DEQ works with Pima County Development Services Department (DSD) to control the permitting process, and has organized the permitting process into the following categories. Choose the category in the Onsite tab below and follow the instructions for permitting on that webpage.